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BRICS cooperation finds strength to deal with international challenges

LIN YUEQIN | 2020-01-16
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)
The Third Annual Conference of the China Council for BRICS Think-Tank Cooperation and the Second Wanshou Dialogue on International Situations were held in Beijing on Jan. 3. Photo: Lin Yueqin/CSST


At present, the proliferation of unilateralism, trade protectionism and hegemonism has brought profound changes unseen in a century to global development and global governance. In this context, the BRICS countries including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are facing new opportunities and challenges and need to reexamine the state of the current international situation. 
   On Jan. 3, the Third Annual Conference of the China Council for BRICS Think-Tank Cooperation (CCBTC) and the Second Wanshou Dialogue on International Situations were held in Beijing. More than 200 scholars exchanged views centering on “centennial changes and China-US relations,” “global governance and a new type of South-South cooperation,” and “new industrial revolution and a community with a shared future for mankind.”
Guo Yezhou, vice minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and president of CCBTC, said that providing policy-oriented intellectual support for BRICS cooperation is the prime responsibility and value of CCBTC. As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, the international community should take heed of the international situation.
Huang Yiyang, deputy director-general of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, said that the United States has promoted policies of unilateralism and continuously provoked friction in China-US trade over recent years, which has plummeted the international situation into chaos. The United States seeks to replace the existing international order with a new one centered on American interests. The BRICS Summit in Brazil during Nov. 10–15 of 2019 has yielded fruitful results, with the Brasilia Declaration promising to uphold multilateralism and sustainable development and maintain the core status of the World Trade Organization in international trade. The leaders of the BRICS countries share a highly consistent stance in safeguarding sovereignty, opposing foreign interference and maintaining the openness of the world economy. 
Huang added that 2020 will be an important time for BRICS cooperation. The 2020 BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in July. On the occasion, Russia plans to set up more than 140 sub-forums to discuss issues facing BRICS cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and culture, which would create a great many opportunities for cooperation among the BRICS countries and between China and Russia.
It has become a consensus among the BRICS leaders to further expand the influence of the BRICS countries. As an important platform for BRICS cooperation, the New Development Bank will further improve its quality and efficiency in its work. In recent years, the five countries have diversified the forms of cooperation between their think-tanks, which have put forward many valuable and operable policy suggestions for the BRICS cooperation. In this context, the BRICS cooperation mechanism has developed into one of the most important international multilateral cooperation mechanisms, Huang said.
Wang Limin, executive deputy editor-in-chief of the Social Sciences in China Press (SSCP), said that the theme of this annual conference is “The Road to Revival under a Century-Old Change.” Looking at the global landscape from this perspective has given us a better understanding of China’s strategies and the international status of BRICS. To achieve a national rejuvenation in China and forge better relations with other BRICS countries, we must be aware that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. SSCP publishes seven journals, one academic newspaper and one academic website, all high-level publishing platforms serving academic circles, including Social Sciences in China, Chinese Social Sciences Today, and Chinese Social Sciences Net. In the future, we should make full use of these platforms to communicate the fruits of research from the different think tanks of the BRICS countries, to better broadcast Chinese voices, and to make Chinese ways and Chinese wisdom known to the world.
Tang Yaoping, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Guangdong University of Technology, said that in 2019, the uncertainties brought about by the China-US trade friction, Brexit and geopolitical tensions have severely hurt the potential for global economic growth. In this context, emerging markets and developing countries represented by the BRICS countries urgently need to replace outdated drivers for growth with new ones and achieve the transformation of modes of economic development. It is believed that the BRICS countries will work together to make greater progress and share the benefits of development.
edited by YANG LANLAN